What does this simple question and its results tell us? It’s not the English major that’s the problem. It’s an industry-recognized skill attached to the English major that’s the opportunity. I’ve long advocated for a rebranding of the term liberal arts. Americans generally and employers more specifically value the elements of a liberal arts degree such as critical thinking and skilled communication. But the words “liberal” and “arts” get in the way as a poor (and poorly understood) branding term against the backdrop of why we value higher education the most: to get a good job. In fact, research has shown that parents would chose “no college at all” ahead of a “liberal arts degree” as the best path to a good job for their child.
Despite all the negativity about liberal arts at the surface level, there continues to be evidence that its underlying value proposition is strong. If it’s combined with an industry-recognized credential. Employers love the blend of general skills such as critical thinking and communication with specific industry-relevant skills. And parents and students are increasingly looking for colleges and universities that provide them with a stronger ROI in the marketplace. —Forbes
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